January 26, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Vatican, Pope Francis told him he had high hopes for peace.
And while Pope Francis usually asks those he meets for their prayers, the Shiite cleric pre-empted the pope’s request and said, “I ask you to pray for me.”
President Rouhani, who was in Europe to build political and economic ties after Iran’s historic nuclear agreement, met with the pope Jan. 26 for 40 minutes of private talks with the aid of translators. The president then had a separate meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
The recent international agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program was discussed as well as “the important role Iran is called to play with other nations in the region in promoting adequate political solutions to the problems that afflict the Middle East, opposing the spread of terrorism and arms trafficking,” the Vatican said in a written communique.